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Gabila
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Let's take a walk.

I walk Fitz around the block twice a day, a little over a half of a mile, total. He is 4 months old. Is this enough? when can I go even further? he gets his final shot this week. It seems like he just doesn't tire after our walks, he has even more energy than when we left the house.

He also gets so distracted, he stops at every plant, watches everyone who walks by and tries to follow them. If we see someone, he jumps on them to be pet. I have to tug him or hold him in a bear hug. So far people have been very nice about it and sympathetic. We live in a very dog-friendly city. We just can't have this happening. About the only thing he does that is amazingly praise-worthy is not bark at other dogs or instigate anything.

We go out back after our walks to exert a bit more energy because he rarely goes to the bathroom while we're out. But he just doesn't seem to tire and I don't want to over tire him. Sometimes I have to pen him so he goes to sleep. Usually, he can put himself down for a nap in the afternoon, but it seems like since he has more access to the house and not just living room he can't get enough.

Does he need more distance? We play out back but his attention doesn't go beyond 5-7 minutes, before he gets jumpy and plops down (so I take this as being tired. But when we go inside he's just another giant ball of energy (we have 2 cats inside). So I pen him so he'll relax and sleep. It's really tiring.

Does he need more outside time? He goes outside about every hour and a half. Is he cranky and need more sleep, as well? He only naps about an hour or so in the morning and an hour and a half in the afternoon. He sleeps about 5-7 hours a night. So I also think that is a problem.
 

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I think he could do with more exercise, yes. He sounds like he has pent up energy. Taking a rest during play is fine - but it doesn't have to be the end of the session. I'm not good with distances and such, but this is what our life looked like at four months:

My pup was getting minimum 2 one-hour outings, plus bathrooms outs. Before I went to work, we'd walk to the park (about 10 minutes), play in the park for 40 minutes, and walk back (10 minutes). Sometimes we were at the park longer. The play in the park was mostly her running and tumbling and playing with other dogs. Or chasing after a ball, though at that age, she only chased the ball 2-3 times. She preferred playing with other dogs at that age.

Then home, and she would sleep in her crate for 4 hours until my dog walker came and got her. She'd be gone for at least an hour with her (at this point, she did a private outing with her; she'd later go on to join a group). My walker would walk, play with her in the park, let her play with other pups at the park, work on training, etc. Minimum an hour. She'd then sleep til I got home.

When I got home, she'd chew her bone for at least an hour, which is a less energetic form of activity, but more than sleeping. She would come and sit in my lap and liked me to hold the bone. We did a before bed walk for a little while, about 20 minutes, but that walk faded away because I realized she didn't really need it. I used it more as a calm down, slow walk session before bed when she was very young. There was no running or playing, just a slow stroll. Then she'd sleep 8 hours easy.

Hope that gives you an idea of how much activity they can take. Mine probably could have taken even more! She would definitely plop down and rest while playing in the park, but then get right back up. As long as you're not forcing exercise with no rest, your pup should regulate himself.
 

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Puppies are easily distractible, so its not uncommon for them to plop down and rest for a minute and then get up and play again. I actually do something very similar to Sweet Girl with Piper, we go for a walk and to the park in the morning and afternoon. She likes to retrieve more than play with dogs, so we will do that for like 40 minutes. She'll get about 3-5 balls and then lay down and rest for a few minutes, and then more. With running around and sniffing etc in between. She gets a quick walk at noon. Piper needs about 40-60 minutes of walking at a time to tire her out, but running and playing gets her more tired for sure. When she was 12 weeks old, walks were harder to get the energy out, because she wanted to stop and sniff and see everyone, and didn't want to keep up a good pace. She's much better at 5 months, so we can do more of a speedier walk.

Piper will get inside and still want to play sometimes, but often its just information/sensory overload with toys and such. She also gets distracted and won't sleep outside of her crate if I'm walking around my apartment and doing things. So usually after we get back from a long play outside and she's had time to get water and cool down, I put her in her crate for a nap. She sleeps 8 hours a night. Not sure if she's actually sleeping that whole time, but she's quiet in her crate.

So it may be a combination of having a little excess energy (they have SO MUCH), and also needing a quiet place to relax.
 

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By no means do I consider myself an expert on dogs or goldens, but I will say you need to be careful with the amount of exercise you give your puppy, especially at 4 months age.


Truth is a puppy will tend to play for as long as you encourage. So you need to regulate how much and what kind of exercise your puppy gets. The nature of exercise is important too; for example, jogging with a young puppy on city roads/sidewalks could be harmful to joints/bones that are still very much in a developmental stage.


The rule of thumb, which is exactly what it is - a suggestion, is 5 minutes of controlled exercise for every month. To me, this is way too little for a golden. I would think an hour of exercise (say 30 mins. in the park offleash in the morning, and a 30 minute brisk walk in the evening) in a day should be fine. This needs to be supplemented with playing with toys indoors, and basic training which does wonders to tire a dog mentally. Sometimes the trick is mental stimulation in addition to physical stimulation. Add it all up and it is a fair amount of work, but it is what the breed requires.


Also, adding up the amount of time your dog sleeps, I get the feeling he could benefit from some more sleep.


Being distracted at that age is to be expected. He is learning his new surroundings. Every sight and smell warrants investigation. You can incorporate some training on your walks. He runs to greet people; maybe work on training him to sit and wait to be approached by people who want to pet him. My Maya has been trained not to jump on anyone, something she adheres to no matter how excited. However, I failed to train her not to pull me to say hi to people she likes and wants to greet!


Good luck!
 
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